At our January meeting, Anita Jamieson took us into the world of Japanese textiles with her presentation “All Things Indigo and a Japanese Angle on Quilting.” Anita is a member of the Greater Vancouver Weavers and Spinners Guild.
In 2014 she attended a workshop in Japan given by Bryan Whitehead, a transplanted Canadian who lives in an artists’ community in the mountains just outside Tokyo. It turned out to be a very enjoyable and memorable time.
Workshop participants from all over the world stayed in Bryan’s 150 year old silk farming house where they learned about breeding silkworms, growing and harvesting indigo plants, and dyeing silks and cottons with techniques such as katazome (resist paste and stencils) and shibori (pleating and binding fabric in various ways).
Anita talked enthusiastically about the many things she learned at the workshop, and told us about enjoying other experiences such as lovely country walks and visits to a public bath, a glass blower, a potter, an antique fabric store, and a folk art museum.
Highlights for Anita were sharing the workshop experience with women from around the world and seeing firsthand Bryan’s kimono business. Did you know that one kimono requires 18 metres of cotton?!
Her photographs and stories left us with images of kimono fabric hanging from rafters, vats of rich blue indigo dye, and unique and beautiful fabric.
For more about the world of Bryan Whitehead in Japan written by another visitor, click here.